How do I know if my symptoms are caused by stress or TMJ disorder?

TMJ treatment SouthlakeAre you experiencing facial pain, headaches, and/or difficulty chewing? These symptoms could be sign of a common oral health condition called TMJ disorder. Issues with the TMJ can be quite debilitating and difficult to identify because stress can produce similar symptoms. Our practice offers TMJ treatment to improve your comfort and your oral function.

Many times, stress can cause or exacerbate TMJ disorder. People tend to clench their jaws and grind their teeth as a response to stress. They may also develop tension in their necks and shoulders, which can produce headaches and tightness along the lower half of the face and the neck.

If you’re unsure of whether your symptoms are caused by stress or TMJ disorder, a consultation with our dentist can help identify the root cause of your discomfort.

What is TMJ disorder?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located near our ears and is a joint that connects the lower jaw to the cranium. When this joint and its supportive tissues are strained, it can cause the TMJ to dysfunction. TMJ disorder can make it difficult to speak or chew and it can lead to accelerated tooth wear.

What are symptoms and signs of TMJ dysfunction?

There are quite a few signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder. The most common are difficulty eating meals, facial discomfort, and headaches. Other signs of TMJ disorder include:

  • Popping or clicking sensations during mouth movement
  • Pain opening and closing the mouth when laughing, speaking, and eating
  • Tension and soreness along the lower half of the face
  • Lockjaw
  • Untimely tooth wear

How is TMJ disorder treated?

TMJ treatment can help get your quality of life back. Common methods used to treat TMJ dysfunction include applying restorations to rebuild a patient’s bite and prescribing custom night guards. A night guard is worn like a retainer while one sleeps. It can relieve tension on the TMJ and its supportive tissues while preventing patients from grinding and clenching their jaws.

If you think you might have TMJ disorder, call Tate Family Dentistry to reserve a consultation with our dentist.

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